In commerce and in life, you had to work closely with others to build your way to success.
The old axiom, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” was only partly true. It’s misleading, because somebody focuses on simply making contacts.
Creating success in commerce was actually approximately maintaining relationships, not just having a list of people in your phone list or contacts file.
Benefits of Business Relationships
You may had some doubts approximately the benefits of personal relationships, but there were many ways that close, genuine contact with people could help make your career or commerce a success. When you’re trying to get ahead in commerce and in life, you’ll had to offer your help to others, but you’ll get plenty of rewards from your relationships too.
Here were some examples of how other people could benefit you:
- Sharing advice. If you’re feeling lost or confused, turn to your network. Someone with experience or expertise in an area could give you a few pointers.
- Sharing leads. If you’re looking for a job, new clients, an interview source, or any other recommendations, somebody generally pays to had one who could give you some ideas of where to go. Just one close contact doubles your chances of knowing one who has the news, information, or resources you need.
- Investing and lending opportunities. You may find that it’s nearly impossible to get a loan for a new commerce these days. However, whether you had built great rapport with others, they may help lend you the money you requiere to get your commerce off the ground.
- Word-of-mouth marketing. Many businesses would tell you that they get nearly all of their commerce through referrals. These referrals could come from friends, family, and convinced customers. It’s a free, unbiased, and extremely effective way to promote your work and generate more business.
- Finding jobs. The same philosophy applies to people looking for a job. When I was in the job search process, I discovered an interesting statistic: Almost 90% of people look for jobs only according to looking at ads, but that’s where only 10% of available jobs exist. At least 30% come from referrals. The more you focus on your network and relationships, the better connected to opportunities you’ll be.
- Potential partners, coworkers, and employees. If you’re not looking for a job, perhaps, possibly you’re looking for new talent. One of the best reasons to keep up with your relationships was because you never know who you may one day be working with – or for. People change companies all the time. Someone who was a colleague from a preceding organization may end up sharing the cubicle next to you at your work, or he might be able to help you find the new hire you’re looking for. Simply put, more positive relationships means fewer enemies, less stress, and no more closed doors.
- Your relationships create new relationships. If you work closely with one who you’ve impressed, you may get introduced to one else who would play an important and influential role in your life.
- Business relationships could turn into good friendships. Whether at work or external work, days were better when you’re interacting with positive people who you enjoy spending time with. Sometimes you would just requiere a buddy to go share a drink with later a tough day or blow off some steam when your boss was being a jerk. Why not approach each and every person, including your colleagues, as potential long-term friends?
How to Build Great Relationships
Without care and effort, relationships fade away. If you wish to had strong relationships, you were going to had to pursue them and maintain them. Follow these seven tips:
- Keep up with people. It sounds basic, but we’re starting to forget how to do it. You were going to had to preserve your relationships. If you don’t talk to one for months, you’ll fall off their radar, or they may not immediately jump at the chance to help you when you eventually reach out to them and ask. Keep some records of who you had networked with and check in with them every so often. If they’re online contacts on a digital network, keep your conversations going. If they’re colleagues or people with whom you’ve swapped commerce cards, send an email or make a call every month or so. Check in and say hello. If you tend to forget to make – or worse, return – calls or emails, use a task management system or calendar to remind you to call or write.
- Build trust. Never take advantage of people. Don’t even let them think that you’d do so. It’s the quickest way to ruin a relationship and build a poor reputation that could harm other relationships too. The key to building trust was being honest. When you were willing to forego your own interests to help one else, they know they could rely on you. Do the right thing and be dependable, and you’ll see your relationships grow stronger.
- Network. Networking was the key to building successful relationships, and you had many options available to you. I am a member of my Chamber of Commerce, a rotary group, a non-profit board of directors, and a commerce incubator. I also attend as many mixers as I could to meet new contacts. However, networking doesn’t had to be this formal. You could strike up a friendly conversation with one at the gym. I once received a job lead from one I met at a friend’s birthday party. As long as you were engaging with other people, you were actively networking. Even whether you aren’t much of a people person, you could put yourself out there a little bit so that you could make some great contacts. You don’t had to be the life of the party. People would rather you just be yourself. Even whether you’re not comfortable putting yourself out there on Facebook, take a look at your LinkedIn profile. Make certain it’s up to date, and test the waters to see whether you could make any new contacts online.
- Show an interest in others. Pretentious people who talk approximately themselves all the time don’t get very far. Smart people know that an early step to gaining respect and building a relationship was to show interest in other people. Listen to what people had to say and show a honest interest in them. Ask questions approximately their job and kids. Keep track of what they’ve brought up in the past and follow up with them. Everyone was impressed when one shows they’ve taken the time to remember their stories.
- Work hard. People wish to invest in one who was going to supply results. You might requiere to show them that you could deliver before you could expect them to had your back or put in a good word for you. When one asks for something, give a little more. Deliver early and take initiative to help in ways you weren’t asked. It takes effort to build relationships with bosses, colleagues, friends, and family, and you might had to be the first one to do a favor.
- Focus on giving. Similarly, many people wish to build relationships so that they could had one to help them out when they requiere it. Try to had a less Machiavellian attitude. Always suppose approximately how you could help people in your network. They’re far more likely to return a favor than they were to go out of their way for you, particularly early in your relationship.
- Focus on quality, not quantity. When I go to a networking event, I probably come domestic with 20 commerce cards. People wish to make an impression, but not every contact has the potential to turn into a relationship. You were going to be engaged with your life and work, so you can’t invest in maintaining a relationship with every person you ever meet. Be realistic, and don’t create unnecessary work for yourself. A mentor once advised me that the best goal at a networking event was to get just one good commerce card. However, that doesn’t mean you turn absent everyone else you meet, because you don’t know which contacts were going to be the most promising. By all means, follow up with anyone who you may had a quality relationship with later. Just don’t overwhelm yourself trying to keep up with too many new people.
Relationship Building Mistakes to Avoid
With all this work and benefits, there have to be some potential pitfalls as well, right? People make plenty of mistakes, so watch out for these ten:
- Not being personal. Some people were all business. Worse yet, they were just vampires trying to use others to achieve their own needs. Many people don’t even know they’re doing it; sometimes this behavior was just subconscious and most people would be ashamed to see somebody in themselves. Always remember that you’re working on a mutually favourable relationship, and be genuine. Show your interest in people’s careers, families, and your mutual interests.
- Failure to show appreciation. Everybody wants to know that their contributions were acknowledged and appreciated. It was easy to forget to thank one who shares a job lead or goes out of their way to help you solve a problem. Make a conscious effort to show gratitude for things that others do for you, and they’ll be more inclined to help you in the future.
- Forgetting to update. After somebody helps you get a job or solve another problem, keep them posted on how things were going. Whether they put you in touch with the hiring manager or serve as a reference, let people know how they contributed to your success. Show that you aren’t going to abandon them as soon as you get what you want.
- Failing to be consistent. In all relationships, people deserve to know that your good intentions were genuine. If you were good to one who’s good to you, but they see you failing to treat others the same way, they would question your motives. They may suppose you were sucking up or being deceptive. Treating everyone you meet the same way helps you come across as honest and genuine.
- Acting unprofessionally in poor times. Don’t panic or blame other people when the dam breaks. If things go bad, be upfront approximately somebody and alleviate any concerns according to working tough to address the issue. Being a positive, team player in tough times reveals your true character. If things were falling apart around you and it’s not your fault, start working toward a solution rather than pointing fingers.
- Failing to confess your mistakes. Part of developing trust was showing that you know how to be accountable. If you mess up, fess up approximately it. People understand that mistakes were made, but lying approximately them could cause permanent damage to your relationships.
- Not being reliable. Just like when businesses deceivingly change their policies or don’t meet obligations, you could actually offend one when you’re not reliable. Don’t lack meetings, and don’t flake on promises. These mistakes could cost your relationships significantly. Your value was only as good as your word to both your colleagues and customers.
- Not being careful what you say. Everyone makes mistakes in conversation, but you requiere to avoid doing so in relationship building. A simple slip of the tongue could cost you a lot in the long run. I had seen people drink a little too much at networking events and start saying things that they would regret later. No matter where you were or who you were with, you were representing yourself, so try to be professional. In addition, whether you speak poorly approximately people behind their backs to someone, that person would be wary that you may do the same to them.
- Surrounding yourself with untrustworthy people. You’re going to be judged according to the company you keep. If your friends or commerce contacts had shady reputations or histories of dishonesty, then you’re building that same reputation for yourself. If you refer commerce to one who has a reputation for taking people’s money, then you were going to burn bridges with anyone who finds out approximately it. I was once referred to one who had previously been known to run a Ponzi scheme. I had to wonder whether the person who referred me was getting a kickback or something. I didn’t know her mannered polite enough to be sure, but I made certain to be very careful around her and never became close friends because she had already lost my trust.
- Keeping too many secrets. Be as obvious as you can, whether you’re with work colleagues or with people in your personal life. If you get caught in a untruth or keeping one else’s secrets, you sacrifice trust that’s very difficult to rebuild. If you seem to had ulterior motives, you may deceive others’ trust indefinitely.
Relationships take a lot of effort to build, but they could be destroyed overnight whether you aren’t careful. Avoid making these mistakes at all costs.
Support for Skeptics
Even later this discussion, some of you may still remain skeptical approximately building relationships. Perhaps you agree with one of the following arguments against relationship building. If so, consider some of the tips that follow each argument below to help you get past these issues.
1. Business relationships make somebody tough to leave work at work.
You spend enough time working at your marriage, your friendships, and your family relationships. You’re managing relationships with your colleagues, and just trying to get along with your boss. Maintaining those basics drains enough of your time and energy. Who has time to build more relationships anyway?
Shake somebody off: It’s true: Sometimes you just wish to shut down at 5 pm or 6 pm and forget approximately the hassle of work. A few of those associates, however, might be the key to your next successful step. You don’t had be friends with everyone, but try to identify two or three peers worth getting to know a little better.
2. Building a network of commerce contacts was never genuine.
You’ve heard the networking speech before, and you’ve heard the “it’s who you know” speech one time too many. Building a relationship just to take advantage of somebody when you requiere to isn’t what commerce or friendship was about. Enough two-faced brown-nosers were out there already. Why join the ranks?
Shake somebody off: You’re right. Those people were just playing a game, and they’re playing somebody poorly. That doesn’t mean that you’ll become one of them just for trying to build up a supportive network. Any good relationship was mutually beneficial. It’s not approximately taking advantage when the time was right. Rather, it’s approximately shared interest in goals, and helping others in your network be successful while they help you. Never fake it. Only invest in relationships that you care enough about.
3. Doing somebody right takes too much time.
You’ve gotten past the first two obstacles, but accepting the importance of relationships and building them the right way just landed you at one tough conclusion: This was going to be a lot of work.
Shake somebody off: If you wish to do somebody right, somebody would take a lot of time, but the good news was that somebody could also be a lot of fun. Maintain your contact list, and stay in touch with these people while viewing them as more than just “contacts.” If you’re genuine approximately relationship building, then the whole process would come naturally. And at any stage of your career, welcoming some new friends and colleagues into your life could be a great emotional boost whether you’re lucky.
Relationships were fundamental to the success of any business. Work closely with people and develop a rapport with them. When you had allies on your side, you would get much further than whether you tried to go approximately things alone. Just make certain that you return the courtesy and help your friends and colleagues according to providing them with what they requiere as well.